Friday, January 07, 2011
The Exhibition Of His Grace
Ephesians 2:7 - That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Grace: A veritable staple in the Christian lexicon. It is a much used word and consequently it is undervalued. It has, over the years, become the subject of simplification.
Getting what you don’t deserve
God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
It is not that these are wrong ideas but they are inadequate expressions of the full range of grace. The problem is that these attempts to simply grace to one statement allows people to memorize the definition and promptly turn their attention to other interest believing they now know what grace is. Grace is a concept that if rightly appreciated and duly considered would cause us at times to be awe-struck at the magnitude of what we were trying to get our minds around. We would shudder in amazement as we pondered the riches of His grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus!
The desire to have concepts of infinite breadth and depth reduced to a sound bite has taken its toll on the concept of grace. Grace is a far-reaching idea that originates in the heart and soul of God. This fact alone would cause us to acknowledge that it is infinite in its scope and reach. It eludes pithy sayings put together in order to pacify a generation of believers who do not want to think deeply, and have lost the art of pondering, reflecting. To fully appreciate grace demands that we abandon pursuit of the simple in favor of the profound; to not just know about grace, or be able to define it, or to even experience it, but to feel it. To be like Moses of old when he cried out, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory!” While the glory of God glistens in an array of words and deed no manifestation of his glory outshines grace!
Grace is a word that is irresistibly connected to mercy and love! Although, mercy cannot do what grace does and grace is love in its most refined form!
It could be that grace is not a concept that should be defined as much as just presented! I think having presented it we will find it somewhat difficult to find words to define it, at least produce a definition that would do it justice. Rather than define it maybe we should just examine it, appreciate it, enjoy it, and practice it!
We should all desire to become better acquainted with the riches of his grace through Christ Jesus!
In the first part of Ephesians 2 is a breath-taking presentation of GRACE!
The first three verses speak with clarity to our natural condition and the extent of our depravity.
Vs: 1 - We were dead in trespasses and sin. Can there be a more forlorn condition?
Vs: 2 - We were engaged in a wayward walk. We were living according to the dictates of the world and the devil, and were content to have it so. We were not children of God but rather children of disobedience!
Vs: 3 - We were possessed of a fatal flaw. We were not free but were held captive by the lusts of the flesh, we were by nature the children of wrath, again not the children of God.
There is a clear digression here and it is ominous in its implications. We were dead in trespasses and sins, consequently were were children of disobedience, which in turn qualified us as children of wrath! Our condition was not bad, it was hopeless! The only answer for our desperate condition is grace!
The first two words of verse four identifies the turning point, "But God"!
Vs: 4 - A God who interposes on our behalf. Our need is beyond human help, divine intervention is required. He is a God of mercy and love. But even that is not enough to completely rectify our depraved and degraded condition. The demand is for grace. Love and mercy are great but not great enough. They are good as far as they go but they don't go far enough. Grace is the cry of my helpless and hopeless heart!
The next three verses extol the grace of God.
Vs: 5,6 - Here we are given an expression of grace. "Even" as it is used at the beginning of verse five is a powerful word. It is a word that denotes the extent of which something is being done. It is right here where love and mercy are fused together and mutate into grace! "Even when we were dead in sins" In our most hopeless state God expresses his grace by quickening us in Christ Jesus. He raises us up together with Christ. He hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. There can be no greater expression of grace than taking us from where we were and making us to sit in heavenly places.
Vs: 7 - This is all about providing an exhibition of his grace. There is too much theology today that has made it all about man. It is about God and his glory. It always has been and always will be. Verse seven tells us why he gave us an expression of his grace. It was to provide an exhibition of his grace. That . . . he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace. Salvation is not about exhibiting the glories of man, but the grace of God. It is not about exalting man but about exalting God. It is not about man's faith but God's grace. It is about his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus, not our kindness toward him. We love him because he first love us.
Vs: 8,9 - It is here where we have the expounding of grace. The argument is laid to rest once for all. Salvation is not of man but of the Lord! It is by grace, through faith. Grace is the movement of God toward man, faith is the human response to grace.
"Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me." John Newton